Ahead of hosting the Turner prize next year, Tate Liverpool is hosting a major presentation of the work of Lucian Freud, the first opportunity of its kind in the North West in thirty years. Freud’s Long time friend and studio assistant, David Dawson’s portrait is one of around fifty works in the exhibition.
Lucian Freud: Real Lives presents a rare opportunity to see all of the Freud works in the Tate collection together. The artist’s sitters are the focus; on display are a series of portraits of those he regularly captured over time, including his first wife Kitty Garman and performance artist Leigh Bowery.
Freud was deeply private and guarded, and it is through his portraits of the people closest to him that we get to know him.
Later this month at Tate Liverpool there’s an in-conversation event with daughter and sitter of Lucian Freud, Bella Freud where she’ll discuss the life and work of her father.
Freud the artist
German-born artist Lucian Freud (1922–2011) was among the leading figurative painters of the twentieth century. Throughout his seventy-year career, Freud mantained a life-long interest in the human face and body and relentlessly explored the possibilities of portraiture.
His work was deeply rooted in the continuous and uncompromising observation of any individual who posed for him. Always painting from life, Freud was drawn to people he was familiar with, like family and friends.
His works often recorded the cycles and transformations of his relationships. He expected a significant commitment from his sitters, requiring them to pose for several hours at a time, over a period of weeks or months, and in some cases even years.
Freud also regularly turned his gaze inward, applying the same unsparing level of scrutiny to his self-portraits. His works demonstrate the unrelenting intensity of his observation and his deep commitment in revealing the sense of individuality in each person, animal or object.